Posted by: Miriam | 28/02/2010

Land of Enchantment

I spent just about half of February in New Mexico. Unfortunately, it was for work, so there was no fun having. And no actually exploring or seeing anything besides what I could see from the car.

I swear New Mexico is the land that the US forgot, or doesnt care about. The level of poverty is very high (outside Santa Fe, that is). There are environmental disasters everywhere. The first nuclear bomb was set off about 30 miles from where I was last week – aka the Trinity Site. There are still open pit cyanide mines (they use the cyanide for extraction of the precious metals) in use. Left over nuclear/radio active waste from Los Alamos and the Manhattan Project that has seeped into the ground water and is slowly moving towards the Rio Grande. Point source pollution from farming. Oil and gas fracking fluids (these are highly toxic but unregulated and the exact formulations are super secret) getting into ground water. Reservations with sky high poverty and no economy left and right. Oil/gas/mining companies taking advantage of the poverty on reservations. Drugs. Human smuggling.

Amongst all the problems, New Mexico is a beautiful state (though I’m still not the biggest fan of Albuquerque…its too sprawly and lots of it lack personality). It is the desert. I love the desert. I was born in Tuscon and whenever I am back in a desert I feel a part of me relax. A part of me sighs and feels content. Durango is pretty arid, it is not the desert. But to appreciate the beauty, you have to see beauty in starkness, in rocks, in sage and scrub.

Headed North from Santa Fe towards Pagosa Springs

I want to ride my bike here...

Look! Surface water!

Some fancy-dancy over exposure on the camera phone.

Leave it to a Geologist to upload pictures of rocks..

Wanna buy some land for cheap and in the middle of nowhere?

Wanna buy some land for cheap and in the middle of nowhere?

That is the cop car that passed me, I was going ~10 over and they flew by like I was standing still.

I love the Budweiser ad, but the restaurant is open from 730-2.

Just to make you jealous that I live in a beautiful place.

I went back to NM last week, we were going on a staff retreat for my organization’s fiscal sponsor. We were headed to the oddly named town of Truth or Consequences. Of course I Googled that, apparently the town was renamed in the 60s after the game show. They have a festival every year on May 1st to ‘honor’ the show. Actually we were outside of T or C. In Elephant Butte. Which is also oddly named. There is a rock, an old volcano actually, in the middle of the reservoir, which barely could be described as an elephant. Maybe squint your eyes, cock your head, hold your breath or take a good toke. Maybe you can see the elephant. It was a very cool spot. The buildings were from the 1940s. Built by the CCC when they were working on the dam.

But even though it was cool, I take pictures of cool things. Random things.


South central NM.

Three towers. They were just there.

Whole Foods apparently lacks editors. Chili = food. Chile = country.



  1. That’s how they spell it out here. See the “Spelling and Usage” section:

  2. But the real question is: red or green?

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